Categories > Celebrities > Guns n' Roses > Faithfully I'm Still Yours

Doin' Fine

by LauraiSlaxl 1 review

Axl dreams again, and he calls Laurie in to talk to him.

Category: Guns n' Roses - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama,Romance - Published: 2011-04-02 - Updated: 2011-04-03 - 1520 words - Complete

"Come along, William, or we'll be late."

Seven-year-old Bill looked up at his mother, her belly softly rounded with his future sister or brother, and then at his four-year-old half-brother, Stuart. Sharon nodded at Bill and gently pushed him forward; he felt that the weight of her hands was thicker now with pregnancy and wondered again at the marvels of the female body. Though he was only seven, he was already starting to notice these types of things.

"William!" Reverend Stephen spoke again, more sharply this time. Bill dashed forward, eager to please his irate stepfather, not wanting to get hit on this most pleasing of days. Stephen, in a bout of generous happiness, had agreed to take his stepson fishing on the Wabash River.

"You two have fun, hear?" called Sharon as Stephen, followed by Bill, climbed into the '65 Mustang that was the pride and joy of Stephen's life and drove off.

When they reached the Wabash nearly half an hour later, Bill was so excited he almost couldn't think. He bounced around in his seat with the exuberant energy of a young child, only stopping when his stepfather said, rather sharply:

"William Bruce, if you don't quit those antics I'm going to take you home and whip you." Then, as if realizing how those words must have sounded to Bill's young ears, he added, "Please get the fishing poles and the bait from the trunk."

Bill obeyed, eager to please Stephen. He took the large key that Stephen was holding out to him and unlocked the trunk, then pulled out the fishing poles and glass jars full of bait carefully, setting them on the ground when he was done. Stephen walked over and shut the trunk, took the keys, and they walked down to the shore of the river together.

"Now," said the Reverend as he set up the fishing poles, "the key to fishing is patience. Always remember that, Bill."

Bill nodded, but he wasn't really listening. He hadn't been down to the Wabash since he was about four and was marveling in the expansive beauty of it; wild and untamed, the water leaped up onto the reeds and weeds of the shore in an effort to gain freedom. Even at seven, this boundless white water, so rebellious and swift, held back by nothing, always moving forward, called out to him in some remote way. Someday, Bill thought, I shall be like this river.

"William. Are you listening to me?" Stephen held back the urge to smack his stepson across the back of his head.

Bill turned, surprised. "No, sir, I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch the last part."

"I asked you to hook a worm to the end of this pole. We're about to start."

Bill nodded and walked over to one of the bait jars. He unscrewed the top and pulled out a worm. Wriggling in his palm, it left muddy tracks on Bill's pale skin. He ignored this and brought it to the fishing pole his stepfather was holding and jammed it on with no mercy.

"There we are." The Reverend took a few paces back, leaned slightly to the left, and tossed the line in, worm first.

"Now what?" asked Bill.

"Now...we wait." Stephen sat down, the pole between his legs, his arms backwards, and tilted his face up to the sky. Bill unconsciously imitated him; even though he despised his stepfather, a boy must have a man to copy, and Bill needed Stephen in this way.

Ten minutes later, the pole began jerking. "Oh, got one!" cried Stephen, jumping up. "Now, Bill, take the rod and start reeling in on this--" he pointed to a silver bell-shaped device on the side that had a handle on it-- "but do it very slowly."

In his excitement, however, Bill forgot to be slow. His fingers slipped several times on the handle as he jerked on it, and despite Stephen's screaming at him to stop he just couldn't; it was too thrilling. The line was flying up out of the water, faster and faster...then, without warning, it snagged on something in the river.

"Don't pull!" said Stephen, seeing the problem, but Bill freaked out and pulled, hard. The line snapped and drifted away in the fast current, leaving Bill and Stephen with nothing more than a fishing pole and half a line.

"You...damn...idiot!" roared Stephen, losing control and running with his large, meaty hands outstretched towards his stepson. "I told you not to pull and I told you to reel it in slowly, and what did you do? You disobeyed me!"

"It was just a fish..." said Bill, dropping the poll and covering his head with his hands.

"That was our supper!" roared Stephen, grabbing Bill's shoulders and lifting him up into the air, shaking him hard, like a rag doll. "Now your mother will have to go buy something, and in her condition I don't think she should be buying anything, do you?"

Bill had no idea what his stepfather was talking about, but he nodded his head vigorously.

"Say 'yes, sir'!" screeched the Reverend. He dropped Bill and smacked him across the face, then picked up the poles and bait jars and stormed off to the car.

"Well?" he yelled when he was in the driver's seat, motor revving. "Are you coming or not?"

Bill ran to the passenger door and opened it, jumping in and slamming it shut just as Stephen drove off at a breakneck speed, gravel flying, tires squealing, rubber burning.

It was, of course, the last time Bill and Stephen ever went fishing together.


Erin Everly was usually a heavy sleeper, but tonight she woke up suddenly to the sounds of sniffling and quiet crying. She rolled over in bed and found, much to her surprise, Axl Rose lying beside her, his cheeks wet, mouth set in the way people usually look when they're crying.

"Oh, God," muttered Erin. She had never been good at comforting Axl when he was like this; that had always been, though she hated admitting it, Laurie's forte. She reached down and shook Axl's shoulder until he woke up, blinking in confusion up at her. His lips moved soundlessly for a few seconds; tears still clung to his eyelashes.

Oh, if his fans could see him now! thought Erin, and resisted the urge to burst into laughter.

Finally, Axl said, his voice hoarse and thick with sleep, "Erin...go get Laurie. She's downstairs one floor in Room 208 with Izzy."

"Why?" whined Erin.

" it," he muttered, too tired to yell at her.

With a long, drawn-out sigh, Erin got up, wrapped a robe around herself, and headed out. She returned five minutes later with a bleary-eyed Laurie Stevens, who was still yawning and looked like she'd been tossing and turning all night, with her hair practically standing on end and her pajamas slightly rumpled.

"Hey, Axl," she said, voice equally hoarse as his. She crossed the room, ignoring Erin completely, and sank down onto the mattress beside him. "You wanted me? Erin said it was an emergency."

Axl sat up, his heart racing. How long had it been since he'd seen her in this state, all innocent and vulnerable, barely awake? Too long.

"Yeah...Laur, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you up--"

She yawned again. "It's okay, I wasn't sleeping that well anyway."

He reached over and clasped her hands in his. "I had a dream, Laurie."

She nodded. "I figured as much. Talk to me."

So Axl told her as much as he remembered. When he was done talking, Laurie's brow furrowed in confusion for a few seconds, then her lips curled up at the corner, like she was trying not to laugh.

"He took you fishing? And got pissed off because you lost the fish?"

"Well..." Axl paused, suddenly, inexplicably, in a better mood than he had been in months. "Y'know, it was for supper."

They both burst into laughter. Axl reached over and brushed Laurie's hair out of her eyes with his thumb. She smiled a little and did the same for him. A feeling swept through both of them; a feeling that hadn't been there in so long they'd forgotten it existed.

"Ahem," said Erin loudly, clearing her throat rather impatiently. "Laurie's done what you wanted, now can she please go back to her room?"

They turned from their position to face the supermodel, looking surprised, like they'd forgotten she was there.

"I guess she's right," said Laurie softly. "I'd better go back."

"Yeah, okay," said Axl. "See you in the morning, then?"

"Yeah." Laurie hesitated like she wanted to say something else, then abruptly swung herself out of bed and walked out of the room, holding her robe tightly around herself as she went.

"You still love her, don't you?" said Erin, accusingly.

"No," said Axl, getting up to go to the bathroom. "Of course not."

But, as he shut the door and splashed his face with cold water from the sink, he wasn't so sure if that was the truth.
Sign up to rate and review this story